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  • Forbes Winslow Forgeries?

    As Forbes Winslow and his Jack the Ripper letters, and alleged tinkering of such, is under discussion, I thought it worth posting this to see what people thought.
    Was it the writer making alterations to the text or was it Forbes Winslow?


  • #2
    A.P.

    I'm having trouble deciphering this letter. It would be appreciated if the text was understood....

    The book, Letters From Hell, has the authors' determination that the date was altered as well....from the date change which they felt was deliberate.

    Harris states that events within this letter led him to determine it a forgery. Events which occurred in 1889,rather than 1888.

    I'm not up to speed as to what the letter claims....and frankly,if events didn't appear in a different year within the letter as Melvin claimed...then the so called alteration may not be one in the first place,but rather an anomaly or idiosyncrasy of the letter writer,not necessarily a forgery. I don't know if we can make that statement with accuracy in this latter condition.

    Of course,it could have been altered by someone....but by whom is the question....and if.

    Thanks for starting the thread, A.P.
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    • #3
      A pleasure, How.
      What bothers me here is that there are a total of ten obvious alterations in this letter, but only moment is made of a single alteration.
      Surely we must look at the letter as a whole, and not just the date?
      If they got 9 other things wrong then surely they didn't know what day it was, let alone year.
      And are we to accept that Forbes Winslow would have made the other 9 clumsy alterations to the letter?
      Or just the one?
      Again, this appears to be selective.

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      • #4
        Hi AP, in FW's book there is also a picture of an envelope, do you happen to know if this is supposed to be the envelope that the letter arrived in? Or is it illustrating another letter entirely? It's just that the postmark on the letter clearly says 1889, but there is no caption or text that I can relate to it in the book....can you? Thanks

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        • #5
          Nice to see you around, Debs, you have been missed.
          I'm assuming that the envelope is this one, with the curt message of 'This week you will hear of me'?

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          • #6
            Thanks AP, yes that's the one. I've not been able to find a mention of an 1889 letter in the book myself, although it's been a while since I last looked.

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            • #7
              Bump up
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              • #8
                This is the letter that rather spookily refers to the "Poste house" towards the end.

                A fascinating echo of that other rather more controversial alleged forgery isn't it?

                Regards to all.

                Paul.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Debra A View Post
                  Hi AP, in FW's book there is also a picture of an envelope, do you happen to know if this is supposed to be the envelope that the letter arrived in? Or is it illustrating another letter entirely? It's just that the postmark on the letter clearly says 1889, but there is no caption or text that I can relate to it in the book....can you? Thanks

                  Hi Deb

                  The "d" in "London" on the envelope is executed plainly and without the flourish seen in all the "d's" in the letter, which is also written in a more cramped manner. It looks to me as if the envelope does not belong to the letter, as you apparently assume also.

                  All the best

                  Chris
                  Christopher T. George, Lyricist & Co-Author, "Jack the Musical"
                  https://www.facebook.com/JackTheMusical/ Hear sample song at https://tinyurl.com/y8h4envx.

                  Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conferences, April 2016 and 2018.
                  Hear RipperCon 2016 & 2018 talks at http://www.casebook.org/podcast/.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Paul Butler View Post
                    This is the letter that rather spookily refers to the "Poste house" towards the end.

                    A fascinating echo of that other rather more controversial alleged forgery isn't it?

                    Regards to all.

                    Paul.
                    No I don't think so, Paul. Melvin Harris in "The Maybrick Hoax: A Guide Through the Labyrinth" over at Casebook interprets the letter to read, I think correctly, as "Write to the Poste Restante Charing x. address to. . ."

                    Chris
                    Christopher T. George, Lyricist & Co-Author, "Jack the Musical"
                    https://www.facebook.com/JackTheMusical/ Hear sample song at https://tinyurl.com/y8h4envx.

                    Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conferences, April 2016 and 2018.
                    Hear RipperCon 2016 & 2018 talks at http://www.casebook.org/podcast/.

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                    • #11
                      Chris.

                      Yes, I'm inclined to agree with you. Its hard to make out, but the "res" of restante seems to be crossed out, or is it a blot for dramatic effect?

                      The letter writer seems to be rather random in his choice of curly or straight "d", and I suppose this is probably evidence of a disguised hand.

                      I don't know what to make of the altered date, when taking the other strange alterations in mind.

                      You have to be a bit intrigued by a Ripper letter containing both the words "Poste" and "Hammersmith" on the same page though, don't you?

                      regards.

                      Paul

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                      • #12
                        Hi guys and gals....

                        I don't know if you guys are basing your judgements solely on the pictures posted here or if there are nicer copies somewhere....

                        Unfortunately I've found that when examining documents of the time we tend to overlook the fact that 99% of them are a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy.... you get the idea. It can be hard to do detailed anaylsis of any document under these circumstances. While the letter looks to have some corrections or cover ups present, these are not quality "copies" to do a fair analysis. Some of the conclusions that I've read here can only be made under a magnifying glass,,,, literally! The envelope copies are in the same condition. I would suggest keeping an open mind in regards to this until such time that a more closeup, clear copy is made available.

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                        • #13
                          Thanks for that Deb....thats a damned good point to remember.
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Paul Butler View Post

                            You have to be a bit intrigued by a Ripper letter containing both the words "Poste" and "Hammersmith" on the same page though, don't you?


                            Paul
                            Works for me. Every once in a while Diary World provides a creepy crawly moment.

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                            • #15
                              Winslow Book

                              Originally posted by Debbie D View Post
                              ...I don't know if you guys are basing your judgements solely on the pictures posted here or if there are nicer copies somewhere....
                              Unfortunately I've found that when examining documents of the time we tend to overlook the fact that 99% of them are a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy.... you get the idea. It can be hard to do detailed anaylsis of any document under these circumstances. While the letter looks to have some corrections or cover ups present, these are not quality "copies" to do a fair analysis. Some of the conclusions that I've read here can only be made under a magnifying glass,,,, literally! The envelope copies are in the same condition. I would suggest keeping an open mind in regards to this until such time that a more closeup, clear copy is made available.
                              Debs, it is not known whether the originals of these letters have survived or not. All we have is what Winslow reproduced in his book. Attached hereto are scans from my original copy of Winslow's book. I think that this is the best we have.


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